Summer Bucket List

I’m itching to get out of the house and be outside this summer. Sydney is at a fun age and she is also at an age that she has so much energy and she needs to do something with it. Since I’m a working parent I want to capitalize on our weekend time but I don’t want to pack so much stuff in to our weekends that there isn’t any time to actually relax and enjoy our summer time together. With that in mind I put together the beginnings of a summer bucket list. Some things we’ll definitely do and some things I’m not sure if we’ll actually get around to doing but I don’t want to get to Labor Day and realize we’ve done nothing but coop ourselves up in the house all summer long. That doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable summer at all.

Museums.

Smithsonian Museums

Smithsonian Museums

One of the many things I really want to do this summer and for many summers to come is explore the museums we have at our disposal. We are fortunate enough to live so close to DC that we are free to explore all the wonderful Smithsonian Museums it has to offer. However, that does mean we generally do not explore it at all because it’s so close we can do it whenever we want. I’m in favor of visiting the American History Museum because it is my favorite and the Natural History Museum because it’s really cool but there are plenty of other museums we can visit too. We’ll see how many we get to, but I’m hoping we get to a couple for sure.

The Zoo.

The zoo!

The zoo!

I know this is one of the Smithsonian Museums, but this is something I really think Sydney will enjoy so it get its own spot on the “to do” list. There are also a couple other places that involve animals that I think Sydney will enjoy like the Leesburg Animal Park and Wilson’s Wild Animal Park so even if we don’t get to the National Zoo I’m hoping we can manage to squeeze in a trip to see some animals somewhere.

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls

Great Falls

Great Falls is a beautiful place and not that I think Sydney will enjoy the scenery for all it has to offer it is a large place she can run off all the energy she has.

Farm Life.

Great Country Farms

Great Country Farms

We have a ton of farms around here and many of them offer a variety of activities for kids, some family festivals, and u-pick fruit throughout the season. Great Country Farms is one of the many farms I enjoy visiting and I know we’ll end up at one of our local farms this summer.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

This is one I’m not entirely sure we’ll actually get around to doing this summer but I’m not counting it out just yet. I have many fond memories of visiting Luray Caverns with my family as a kid and there is so much to do down there that I think we could make a fun day out of it. There’s obviously the caverns as a main attraction but there are also two museums nearby and Toy Town Junction which sounds awesome and I think I might enjoy that a little more than Sydney because it’s a collection of toys she won’t actually be able to play with. There is a garden maze that she could run her way through and there is a zoo nearby that is a rescue zoo with about 250 retired zoo animals and unwanted and abused animals. I’d like to go there just to be able to support and learn about the animals.

Parks.

fun time at the park

fun time at the park

There are so many awesome parks near us that we’ll definitely be heading to plenty of these. Local parks are especially nice when I’ve been cooped up at the office all day and just want to get outside and just enjoy being outside and with my girl.

What are some things on your summer bucket list? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you plan to do this summer!

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Fit Friday: T25 – Beta Week 4

What is up Week 4. I can’t believe that next week is the last week of Beta. And then comes Gamma. I’m really enjoying this program and I forgot that how much I enjoy it so I’m glad I decided to work through it again. T25 is what made me fall in love with Beachbody and Shaun T is what keeps me in love with Beachbody, working out, and being in such awesome shape.

Week 4 thoughts.

This week has lots of focus on the core and I am seeing some serious definition. I did three core workouts this week and I could definitely feel all that core work. I’ve talked about how much I love core work before and this week is no different. I’m also noticing that I’m developing more strength in my arms and also a little more definition in my arms.

Helllllloooo abs! Nice to see you!

Helllllloooo abs! Nice to see you!

Program Highlight: Dynamic Core.

Dynamic Core has some new exercises which is a nice change of pace. The first half is like core cardio and you’re up and moving and getting your sweat on. The second half you hit the mat and really focus on those core muscles – both in the stomach and back. The last minute is a killer. It’s awesome – but it is a killer! I really love this workout.
GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying Focus T25 yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

Tasting Room.

Let’s talk about my love of wine. I really enjoy going to wine events and wine tastings. The more you learn about wine the more you realize how complex it is and the more you can appreciate it.

A few months ago I stumbled upon this amazing website that will send you a sampler pack so you can do a wine tasting in the comfort of your own home.

You read that right. A wine tasting in the comfort of your own home. Not only that, once you do your tasting and enter in all your results (based on what you liked, didn’t like, tasted, didn’t taste, etc.) they will build you a customized wine profile and based on that profile they will set you up with customized wine shipments. All on this one amazing website (of which I am not being compensated in any way to review I just really enjoyed this and wanted to share it.)

Tasting Room Tasting Kit

Tasting Room Tasting Kit

The Tasting Room is  a personalized wine club website that starts with an interactive wine tasting to determine just what kind of wine you like based on your tastes instead of your preconceived notions of what you think you like. I was surprised at the profile created for me based on my tastes because I thought I would have liked something different. This really has allowed me to expand my wine pallet for sure.

Red Wines.

Red Wines.

I received four red wines to try and I really enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would. In my tasting kit I got a The Rouge Wave (a Pinot Noir), Grand Lacaze (a Red Bordeaux Wine), The Stub Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, and Paso Robles Cabernet Sav.

The Pinot Noir was a favorite of mine which was really surprising to me because I would have never considered a Noir because I would have originally thought it would be too dry. This one smelled kind of woody, but had a softer, spicy taste to it with strong hints of fruit. Very pleasant wine. The Cab Sav is my favorite red wine so it was no surprise that I really enjoyed the one they sent me. It was smooth with a spicy bite to it and had a lot of jammy, rich dark fruit tastes to it. Very, very good.

The Red Bordeaux wine was ok, it was bold with lots of black cherry tastes to it but it was kind of dry. The Zinfandel was a really full bodied wine with a bold taste of tobacco. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was distinctive. I didn’t like that one at all.

White Wines

White Wines

I only received two white wines in my tasting kit. The first one was Ostra Lodi (a Sav Blanc) and then Loophole Monterey Chardonnay. Typically I do not prefer a dry white wine. I don’t really care for dry wine in general, but these weren’t too bad.

The Ostra Lodi had an oaky, dry finish but an overall crisp taste. It was also kind of buttery which is a weird thing to say about wine I guess. The Loophole Monterey Chardonnay was dry with a sweet, slight fruity taste.

This was a really fun experience and I’m really glad that I did it because I learned a lot about my wine profile – a lot more than I even realized I could learn about something like that. If you’re in to wine and looking for something a little different then I highly recommend checking out the Tasting Room.

Fit Friday: T25 – Beta Week 3

I can’t believe I’m almost all the way done with Beta phase. I feel like I just started T25 and now I’m half way finished with this program and I feel (& look!) amazing. I know I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but I have never felt better about myself both physically and mentally. I love the way putting myself first by making sure I make time for my workout each day makes me feel more relaxed and just overall better. It’s win-win and I’m the biggest winner of all.

Week 3 Thoughts.

I was totally motivated this week and was really feeling great after having so much cardio focus this week. I swapped out Core Speed for a Speed 2.0 this week (since Speed 2.0 is the workout that you’re doing twice this week). It was a nice way to mix it up, get in my cardio, and have some extra focus on my core muscles. I know my core is getting stronger as I work through this program and I am noticing some nice definition. My arms also feel a lot stronger and I am glad that I am finally able to say that.

Fit Mama.

Fit Mama.

Program Highlight: Speed 2.0 and Core Speed.

Two programs this week – lucky, lucky you. There is a bonus program you can purchase, Core Speed, and you can replace any Speed 2.0 workout with Core Speed and get some extra Core work but still getting the Cardio that the Speed program offers you. It’s actually a nice change of pace some weeks and I really like both of them but they are both different enough that I think there is some value in doing them both.

Speed 2.0. Holy fast paced workout. It is 2 rounds and 3 levels each just like Speed 1.0 from Alpha phase. Each level gets progressively faster in pace and also that makes it just a tiny bit harder. At the end you take it from the top and run through all of the exercises 3 (!!) times. It’s tough – super tough – but in a really good way.

Core Speed. It’s similar to Speed 2.0 in that it is extremely fast paced with 2 rounds of exercises at 3 levels each and then a from the top round. The exercises in this one are focused on the core muscles (hence the name) and it really puts your core through the ringer. It’s a great workout that feels like it is over before you realize it started. I love this one because I work up a great sweat AND get a great core workout which is my favorite thing to work.

 

GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying Focus T25 yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

Fit Friday: T25 – Beta Week 2

Whew! What a week. T25 is really kicking my bootay and making me work real hard to make that bootay look amazing. So I guess I can’t complain because I am loving what I see when I look in the mirror and I’m loving how I feel after an amazing workout. It’s win-win and I have Beachbody and T25 to thank for that. I’m so glad I found this program and that I am sticking with it to change my life.

Week 2 thoughts.

I nailed week 2. NAILED IT. I put a lot of effort and energy in to my workouts this week and I always felt great (& sweaty!) at the end of those 25 minutes. I’m noticing an increased amount of energy – especially when I start my day with a workout. I love how much better I feel just because I’ve incorporated a short workout in to my daily routine. It’s amazing how much more active I am just because I workout. I know this shouldn’t be a new realization because I have been working out for months but I guess when I stopped to think about it I realized that I’ve been so much more active this year in general because I have worked out almost every day.

What's up muscles.

What’s up muscles.

Program Highlight: Rip’t Circuit. 

Rip’t Circuit is the first time we use weights with the T25 program. Rip’t Circuit focuses on the whole body and using the weights adds a new level of difficulty that we didn’t get in Total Body Circuit in Alpha. I’m really looking forward to the results I get from this one at the end of this month. Definition for days!!

GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying Focus T25 yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

VoxBox Review: Weight Watchers Ice Cream

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes but the opinions expressed are strictly my own. 

I know. An ice cream review. How counter intuitive to all of my Fit Friday posts, right? Well, this isn’t just any ice cream review… it’s a review for Weight Watchers ice cream. It’s a healthy ice cream. You can indulge and also still be mindful of your healthy eating habits. That is a win-win. Plus they are delicious so win-win-win.

You can't beat a healthy, sweet treat!

You can’t beat a healthy, sweet treat!

I was so excited to be apart of this campaign because I looooove ice cream so much but I also really do try to both watch what I eat and be mindful of what I feed Sydney. I want her to grow up with healthy eating habits but I don’t want her to never experience the sweeter things in life so these give us the best of both worlds.

Picking out her ice cream treat

Picking out her ice cream treat

Sydney is of an age in which she realizes she has her own opinion so I let her pick out her own ice cream. She was so excited about it that she carried her ice cream around the store and she wanted to open it as soon as we got home. So I let her because why not, right? The whole point of this campaign is to try to the ice cream.

What? Let me eat my ice cream in peace

What? Let me eat my ice cream in peace

She was not excited about the pictures but she was very excited about the ice cream. She wanted one with a cone so a cone she got. She loved it and Buddy was very disappointed that he wasn’t even offered a morsel of this ice cream cone (because he loves ice cream too!).

If you’re looking for a sweet treat this summer that isn’t going to ruin your diet or your healthy habits then this is the ice cream you are looking for. What are you waiting for? Run out and pick yourself up some ice cream and enjoy a summer evening outside with some ice cream. I know I’ll be heading back to the store to pick up some of the other flavors once I run out of the ones I have.

Fit Friday: T25 – Beta Week 1

Fit Friday on a Monday because I can’t read a calendar… Oops! it’s the thought that counts I guess! 

What is up Beta phase! I loved Alpha phase but I am so happy to be moving on to Beta phase. I am really loving the T25 program and I can’t wait to see how much progress I make with both my strength and endurance in Beta phase. I’m also a little worried about Gamma phases but hey, we’ll cross that bridge in 5 weeks when we get to it haha.

Week 1 thoughts.

I notice a distinct difference between Alpha and Beta. Alpha was hard at first, but by the end it got easier because I was stronger. Beta is definitely harder than Alpha and it is closer to Insanity Max 30 which makes me remember just how mean awesome Shaun T can be. It isn’t as hard as Insanity Max 30, but it is closer than Alpha. I’m finding I have relative difficulty since the programs are new and they are supposed to be harder because you’re supposed to be getting better but it isn’t too hard because I am much stronger than I was when I started Alpha 5 weeks ago. Alpha phase really prepared me well for Beta and I’m glad I follow these programs the way they are intended because I don’t think I’d stick with them if I didn’t.

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Program Highlight: Core Cardio.

WOW! If you want a good cardio workout plus an amazing core workout then this is for you. It is a great cardio workout but it does focus on the core so you’re sweating your ass off by the time those 25 minutes have passed but you’ve done so much core workout you will surely be feeling it when all is said and done. This is a much faster paced workout than Ab Intervals in Alpha phase and it definitely pushes you harder than you realize. I know this is going to take my core/ab definition and strength to the next level. This whole month is really because there are 3 core focused workouts and I’m excited about what that means for my core!!

GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying Focus T25 yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.